Slow quarter means ‘challenging’ year: Commerzbank CEO

Martin Blessing, outgoing chief executive officer of Commerzbank AG, poses for a photograph ahead of the bank's annual general meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Martin Zielke, head of the consumer unit at Commerzbank AG, will replace Blessing after the current CEO's tenure expires on April 30.  Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Martin Blessing



Commerzbank AG Chief Executive Officer Martin Blessing said a “slow” first quarter will make it more difficult to achieve last year’s profit, just a month after the bank projected an increase in full-year earnings.
“The result for the first three months is likely to be lower than in the previous quarter,” Blessing, 52, told shareholders at the annual general meeting in Frankfurt on Wednesday. “This will also have an impact on the year as a whole — it will be more challenging to attain the net profit posted in 2015.”
European banks are scaling back profit estimates as turbulent global markets, record-low interest rates and faltering growth across the euro region erode revenue. Germany’s second-largest lender said last month that it expects a “slight improvement” in full-year profit as it cuts costs and unwinds toxic assets at a faster pace than previously projected.
Commerzbank shares dropped 2.7 percent to 8.23 euros at 10:53 a.m. in Frankfurt, reversing earlier gains. They have lost about 14 percent this year.
Blessing will step down as CEO at the end of the month, when he will be succeeded by Martin Zielke, who overhauled the lender’s consumer-banking unit. Commerzbank is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on May 3.
Commerzbank AG is a global banking and financial services company founded in 1870 with its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.
Commerzbank is Germany’s second-largest bank, holding a nationwide network of branch offices, numerous offshore branch offices and representations in more than 50 countries globally.
which employs a total of 51,782 employees as of June 2014.
It offers its clients retail and commercial financing services, investment banking services, asset management, and private banking services.
Commerzbank was founded in 1870 by individual and merchant bankers in Hamburg, Germany. Ship owner C. Woermann was the first chairman of the super-visory board of Commerz- und Disconto-Bank from 1870.
The bank grew through a series of over 50 mergers, acquisitions and restructures in the following period through hyperinflation and the accompanied difficulties in the German economy. In 1940, the name Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, by which the bank was generally known, was officially adopted.

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